I can’t only share the bad parts here, even though it feels like that’s all there are. I wanted to share with you the emotional roller coaster of the past 24 hours that has ended on a somewhat good note. Yesterday was a tough day. We have been awaiting the accident investigation report for several weeks and I went to pick it up at the local CHP office yesterday. I chose to go alone. In retrospect, probably not the best choice, but that’s how I roll sometimes. So, I called a friend on the way, warned her that I was going to need someone on the phone when I read it, and she willingly obliged to be there for me. I love you and will always be grateful for your support.
The drive to the office was nothing short of terrifying, reminding me a lot of the ride to the hospital. For the first time, I was able to open up and speak out loud to God. I was just too angry before. (Don’t get it twisted, I’m still furious.) It wasn’t a pleasant conversation. In fact, it was riddled with expletives and tears. I prayed for strength and begged for mercy, if only long enough to read the report and drive home. Talking to God didn’t make me feel any better. There was no flash of faith springing forth by opening up to him. But my need for help and for mercy felt bigger than anything I could handle alone at that moment, so I felt he might be my go-to guy.
The officer who put the report in my shaking hands was kind. I am sure I am not the first grieving mother he has comforted when they have come to pick up a report. He went through it with me and answered my questions as I sat there, trying not to tear up in front of him. After feeling like I got the gist of what it said, I left the substation and called my friend, who was patiently waiting on standby. We went through the report together in more detail. I cried. She cried. There were no major revelations in the report–no signs of closure, or even details we hadn’t already assumed for ourselves. But at least it’s done. Another chapter written.
As an aside, please know that is all we have to say on the subject of “what happened.” Please don’t ask what the report said. It really doesn’t change anything and none of us want to talk about the details right now—we may never want to. Thanks for understanding.
Later in the afternoon, I stepped outside into our backyard to water my herbs. I looked up and for the first time since Noah’s accident I saw a butterfly land in the tree next to me. And alone, I smiled. After having time to reflect on the morning, I stood there and for just a brief moment, I felt some mercy, some long-awaited, very-needed mercy. The butterfly flew away, and my broken heart and I went on about our day—more therapy, more administrative torture surrounding Noah’s accident, more wondering aimlessly through the mall searching for some peace, and trying to stomach down dinner without noticing the empty fourth bar stool.
Night came. More tears came. Mercy drifted away just as quickly as it had floated in on the wings of my little backyard visitor.
This morning came another, personal mercy moment, followed by breakfast out with my boy. The sun is out. The weather is cool. I took my dogs and my boy to the dog park this morning. We even laughed a little because our dog Charlie is ridiculous when he wants to play fetch.
I’d like to believe that someday, these small moments of joy will outweigh the sadness. I’m counting on it. I am beginning to understand and believe that grief is not a process that can be rushed or avoided. I don’t need anyone to tell me it’s going to suck. I have that part figured out. But I am slowly learning that we have a very long road ahead of us. I am so very thankful that we have each other, and that we have all of you.
I should also again thank all of you for your occasional texts and messages. We read them all. They help tremendously. Please keep them coming! One of my biggest fears is that we will be forgotten, and that we will be left alone in our grief. We still need you. Please don’t forget about us. 🙂 May you find a bit of joy in your day today, courtesy of Noah.